Five Steps to Learning Success – Book Review of ‘Sprint’ process by Jake Knapp

Book Review of Sprint process by Jake Knapp

Genius!  Logical.  So easy to read – I can’t believe I haven’t read this sooner.  Sprint is about a process, hatched at Google, for coming up with ideas through to testing solutions in just 5 days.


Sprint and Agile are often-heard terms and while I was pretty familiar with ‘Agile’ I didn’t know much about Sprint. This book goes a long way to demystifying the term. Jake Knapp gives a clear, concise explanation of each of the five days and the use of a huge variety of examples illustrating the Sprint process means it is really easy to see how Sprint can be applied to your own situation.


What I really found refreshing was knowing that we were already using much of the Sprint process on lots of our projects!  It was encouraging and self-affirming. I picked up a few things from this read that I wish we had thought of when working to time and budget pressures, and simultaneously needing to be innovative with our solutions. Having a self-imposed time frame is a really useful discipline as is always testing as the final step.

A case study – Spark

Reading Sprint brought to mind a Spark project we worked on a couple of years back. It was one of the largest projects I had worked on. We needed to build a whole range of deliverables within a very tight ‘go live’ deadline.  As a result the ADDIE model just wasn’t going to cut it this time.  We knew it would slow us down as each phase took days and sometimes weeks to work through. We took Spark’s eight weeks of classroom training and turned it into a virtual learning solution and platform for people working remotely. As a team we were trying new stuff, and without knowing we were already taking a Sprint approach with our thinking.  In five days we had to turn round a product and we did just that.


  • Day-one

the briefing session with the project and design team. We mapped out what we wanted ‘starting with the end in mind’.

  • Day-two

we sketched out what that looked like – we now call this ‘design lite’ and it’s used across our business.

  • Day-three

we created a high-level storyboard with the content.

  • Day-four

we built a prototype.

  • Day-five

for us was sign-off.


Sprint process
Sprint approach


We repeated this Sprint approach to come up with a suite of templates for the programme which enabled us to get into rapid build and turn round a deliverable within five days.  We won (list  a couple here) many global awards for this approach and project!


Sprint talks about ‘test’ as the final step. To be honest, we wish we had done more of this and took this as one of our main learnings. We now apply the test step to all our current developments.


A recommended read from Gabriella Meden – from Inspire Group’s Auckland office.

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